P-SPAN #594: Bay Area Black Pilots Association, at Laney College

P-SPAN #594: Bay Area Black Pilots Association, at Laney College


PAM WALLACE: I’m Pam Wallace. I’m the director
of the BEST Center, which stands for Building
Efficiency for a Sustainable Tomorrow. We are funded by the
National Science Foundation to help establish programs and
enhance programs in building technician education. So we work with community
colleges throughout the US to help them build their
programs in HVAC and building automation controls. So I just want you to know
HVAC, building automation, those are all the
computer systems that control lighting, HVAC,
the air, indoor air quality. And we just had
Siemens last week say they are dying to get more
people into their organization. These guys are making, women
and men, $60,000 $70,000 a year, starting salaries. So environmental controls
technology here at Laney, B-150 just down the walkway. If you want to know a little bit
more, just go and talk to Nick. He’s a great ambassador. Nick Kyriakopedi, is the
chair, but any of the guys in there will– and counselors, can tell you
what the curriculum requires, but you can get a one year
certificate or a two year certificate. And these guys
are– a lot of them are what we call jobbing out,
getting jobs before they even finish their certificate even
though we want them to finish, but that’s what the
market is like right now. So please think about
that as a career. And there’s a lot
of misconceptions. A lot of it has been
computerized now in terms of managing
the systems that are making all these boilers
and chillers work and operate to control the environment,
but it’s a big opportunity. And I know that after
few years of experience, a lot of these guys
are making six figures. So think about it as a viable
career option, CTE Career Technical Education. SPEAKER 1: You know, my
philosophy is if you can’t see it, you can’t be, right? Yeah. And so every Friday, we
try to introduce people to you in careers that you
may have never seen before. So we’ve had people
who run magazines. We had Mr. Roy Miles who
has his own toy company and his own film company. We’ve had somebody who was
a professional musician and a PhD in ethnomusicology. And so in that
same tradition, we want to broaden your horizons. So today we have the
Black Pilots Association. And These are people involved
in every aspect of air travel, from pilots to mechanics
to everything else. And so once again, here’s
an introduction to a career that you may or may not
have even considered before, but I think it’s really
important, especially in Oakland when
things look rather bleak for your generation. Careers look bleak. Housing options look bleak,
but what we want to make sure is that– help you think a little
bit outside of the box and think a little
bit non-traditionally so you can actually
consider much wider options. So can you please give our
guests a round of applause, please. AUDREY: Thank you good
morning everybody. How’s everybody today? Everybody awake,
or do I need you to stand up and do some
stretch and flex like we have to do at work every day? We’re good? My name is Audrey from
New Orleans, Louisiana. Anybody here from down south? Everybody from the
Bay Area pretty much? Anyway, I came to
California at the age 25. I did not have a
boyfriend, no baby, so I said, OK, I
want to explore, like most young ladies
like to do and men too. So I got my boyfriend. I did know the way. Got an old car and
we drove down here. And him, 25 years
old, single, nothing to do just, looking for a job. And I said, oh, I
went to the restaurant at the airport, one
of my first stops. So I worked in a restaurant
there as a hostess. My speech was nice,
good, clear English. So they liked that. I became a hostess at the
San Francisco International Airport. From there, I applied for
security because my high school motto was, “Let tomorrow
find you farther than today.” Are you all high school? College? AUDIENCE: Both. AUDREY: Both. I wasn’t sure. And when you graduate,
you’ll get a motto like most high schools do,
and mine was like I said, let tomorrow find you
father than today. Anyway, I won’t take too
long, but I fix airplanes. I fly airplanes. How is that possible? It wasn’t hard. You have to get certified
by the government, the FAA, you may have heard of
them, Federal Aviation Administration. I went to school at
the College of Alameda while I was working as
a food service employee at the airline, which
I applied at United. While I was working at the
restaurant as a hostess, I applied. I’m at the airport, so I’m going
to look around at the airport and find out other
job opportunities. So I checked into security. I worked there for two
years, Wells Fargo. You may remember them. I don’t know. It’s been quite a while. And after that,
customer service reps used to come into the
restaurant where I worked, and I’m a talkative
person, friendly. How did you guys get your
job as customer service representatives for the airline? I just asked a question because
they come in there for lunch. And said, oh, we fill
out an application. And one of them
was wise and told me, whatever job they
offer you, take it. I wanted to be a
flight attendant. I applied for flight attendant. Tall. Slim. Sexy. Good speech. I could reach the overhead bins. I just knew I had the job. United call me. The lady bought
me an application. I didn’t get a job as
a flight attendant. Guess what I got a job as? Washing dishes on
midnight shift. When United Airlines used to
serve meals on their planes, you may remember that. I’m not sure,
depending on your age. But anyway, I took the job
because they said whatever they offer you, take it. I wanted a job even
though I’m working, this was better
because guess what? It was maybe $0.50 more
than what I was making. So I went for it. I stayed there three years. Then I became an
analyst, meaning I deal with the paperwork
that the mechanics use, signing it off, making sure
they sign it off correctly. From there, I became
an aircraft cleaner. Each job I took was
a little more money. That’s what we all want, right? Money. So I’m in a position
to get these jobs because I’m already
within the company. So I was an aircraft cleaner. At this point, I got married. I met my husband. I got pregnant. United is a company
that really supports their employees and their
personal lives as well. That’s why we’re so huge. Any of you ever flew on United? Did you have a good experience? It’s a great experience. It’s nice. It gets you one
place to the other. Anyway, now I’m a senior
mechanic at United Airlines. I’ve been there 32 years. It will be 33 years January 3rd. I started working as
a mechanic in 1990. In 1990, I did not
have my A&P, that’s called an Airframe
and Power Plant. You have a question? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. AUDREY: Pardon? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. AUDREY: Moses Ajalla? In San Francisco or Oakland? I may know him, know his face,
but may not know the name. There’s just so many people. It’s hard to keep up
with them, but they all know me because I’ve been
there for 30 plus years. But anyway, I started working
in 1990 as an aircraft mechanic. From a cleaner, I applied. I became a mechanic. They offered me the job. I was a shop mechanic though. I could not touch that airplane. No one. You can’t just go up
and touch an airplane. That is forbidden. So I had to go to school,
and I got what they call an A&P. A is for Airframe. P is for Power Plant. Airframe structure, P engines. I went to school, the College
of Alameda right over here in Oakland for 18 months. But because I was already
working at the airline, I didn’t have to go the other
six months because the program was for two years, I think. I knew the front and the
back of the airplane. I knew the nose and the tail. I knew the fuselage. I knew the tires. I knew the cockpit. So knowing those things helped. So you can get a job
working as a cleaner, as an analyst dealing
with paperwork, as a food service
worker in any airline, and you can work your way up. So I just want to share
that with you guys so you know there
is a career there. When I started out, I
was making $5.89 an hour. This was back in 1985. Some of you may not
have been born yet. I don’t know. I’m not sure. But– question? But anyway, I’ve been there,
and since I’ve been there I became an instructor. I teach the mechanics
because the FAA require you to apply certain government
rules and regulations, so I’m an instructor for that. I fix the airplanes,
operate the flight controls, change the tires, fuel
them, change the nose gear. It’s just so many things
you can do on an aircraft. No one person does it all. My job is very minor compared
to maintaining a whole aircraft. So my question to you is, do you
all have any questions for me about the career
choice that I’ve taken? And by the way, I’m
very happy there, and I have been
very happy there. Yes. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. AUDREY: After 25 years, your
flights for absolutely free. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]? AUDREY: All over
the world for free. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. AUDREY: Yes. Me and my husband and my
children and my mom and my dad. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. AUDREY: Yes. Yes, ma’am. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. AUDREY: Oh, yes. Some people that inspired me. When I first started
working, there was a young lady
named Harriet James. She pushed to me
because I was OK working in a shop
at the airline, but she said, why don’t you
become an aircraft mechanic, not just a shop mechanic. It’s more money for one,
so I got involved in Women in Aviation, but Harry was
a great influence to me. Right now she works for Boeing
in Arizona as a consultant. Another lady that inspired me
once I got into the industry– because before I got
into the industry. I never heard of Bessie Coleman. Any of you ever heard
of Bessie Coleman? You haven’t heard
of Bessie Coleman? She was a black aviator– what can I say– in the 1920s at the
Oakland Airport. I was there when they
designated a stamp in her honor. This is about 15 years ago. And it was a big
deal because she had to go through so many things
to get into this industry. And that’s another
reason why I got into it because it was challenging. It’s nontraditional. Most people think they
can’t get into it. It’s not as easy,
but it is easy. And right now there’s
so many people retiring. When I started, I
was 28 years old. I wasn’t even young. 28. I didn’t even think about it. When I went to college,
I majored in psychology and minored in
sociology thinking I’m going to be a social worker. Nah. There’s too many
people in those type of industries I felt in my day
and time for me to get a job. So I went to a more
nontraditional career, and that was
working in aviation. And that was when I decided
I’m going to apply at United and wherever I end up,
I’m going to be happy. And I am happy to this
day working there. Once you’re there, you
don’t want to leave. That’s why the industry
today has so many needs. They need people, desperately. They’re even asking their
employees to refer people or asking employees to
screen people for the jobs and to take tests. So what we’re testing, they
can test the people outside to make sure they can pass
the tests because at one time, they weren’t able to pass
the test they were given. So it’s worth it. I love it. It’s raised me and my family. And when I say raised, it did. It afforded me the
financial stability. It’s a union
company where you’re guaranteed you’re going
to get so much money at a certain length of time. And I’ve been with them. I pay my union
dues, and I’m happy. And I’m going to work two more
years, then I will be retiring. Any more questions? We’re good? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. AUDREY: Yes. Unlimited. Unlimited. But again, read up on
the history of aviation for those of you that
might be interested in it. You’d be surprised. There are lots of
programs and opportunities out there for young
people, scholarships, and it’s not hard at all. We have this international
organization, Women in Aviation I’m a part of that. Read up on it. Go and search it
on the computer. Check it out online. Find out what’s
out there and what scholarships are available
to help you go to school. And once you go
to school, you’re definitely going to get a job
because there’s such a demand. There’s such a need
out there for everyone. Yes. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. AUDREY: As a flight attendant? One, I’ve never been one. However, that was what I wanted
to be when I first started, but I’ve never been
a flight attendant. I fix airplanes. I maintain them, and that’s
why they’re flying safe. Guess what? Because I work on them. The Airbus, 37,
57, Triple 7, 87. Yes ma’am. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. AUDREY: Friends and family,
yeah And the farther you go on a flight, the cheaper the
flight is, believe it or not. Yeah, you may have heard that. It’s true. The farther you fly,
the cheaper it is. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. AUDREY: $300. Yes, $300 to, I
think, Seoul, Korea. Round trip. I wanted to introduce
my friend, Johnny. She would like to
say a few words, share a few things with you all. She was the first lady mechanic
I met when I started at United, and she had been
there before I was. So Johnny. JOHNNY: Good morning, everyone. AUDIENCE: Good morning. JOHNNY: I started
at United at 1974. I left home at 17. My brother sent for me. I lived in Monroe, Louisiana. Left home at 17 going to school. Bronx College. Keypunch data input. At the time, I got married
at 24, moved to California. And after that, I had a family. Husband went to Vietnam. Came back. Ended up being a single
parent with two kids. Came to Laney a couple
of times, a few times to be a hairdresser. Didn’t work out. So I went to get a job at other
airlines, Silver Airlines, before you guys was born. So I ended up at United,
which is a very good job. Started out as a
keypunch operator. They said you take
any job they give you. Don’t turn nothing down. I was making $650 a
month with two kids. Came to Laney as I
was going to school, I was going to complete my
career as a hairdresser. I didn’t get that far. Anyway, stayed at United,
went up the ladder. Took all the position I had. Saw people outside working. And I said, what are
they doing out there? Storekeeper. I was a storekeeper for
quite a while till 1980. Got laid off. Didn’t give up,
like Bessie Coleman, didn’t take no for an answer. Stayed there eight years. I worked in Oakland till
they closed the base down. Went back to San Francisco
to get my A&P license. As a matter of fact,
that’s how I met Audrey. She and I started April 4, 1990. We got our A&P license. I got A, she got a P
because I kept telling her, I’m going to leave soon. I’m going to retire. They need women to represent us. I want you to continue
to go to school, but I’m going to leave
as soon as I get of age. I started also in the
computer room at United. They don’t have
computers like now. We had drives on the wall
that ran the whole base. You can put one tape on, you
could pull the whole system down. I learned that for eight years
while I was laid off at United. They didn’t have that many
women in that department, black females. At the time, I stayed in
there for eight years. Tape librarian,
computer operator. Got my feet on the ground. Came back outside
to be a storekeeper. Stayed there. Audrey and I started out in the
chair shop, cabin equipment. We learned how to
do all the chairs. We stayed there until
she and I decided to say, let’s go to school. They pushed us, a lady
named Harriet James, pushed me and Audrey
both as females to go get our A&P license
while we was in the chair shop. The chair shop was
pushing people out. At the time, United
had a big layoff. There was only 50,000 people
at United at that time. Went down. I was in that layoff
for eight years. I didn’t stop, but I had
two kids, remember that. Came back out on the floor. They called me back. Went to school. Got my license. I ended up in the cabin shop. They didn’t want us in there. We got pushed out. Went out on the docks. Worked with all the men. Learned the jobs. Hand full of females. All nationality. We didn’t give up. We stayed there. The time that we got
laid off was they kept sending us a letter in
the mail, like every month. And so we’ve stayed and
pushed and tried to fight. But at the time, we took the
opportunity and went outside. The opportunity too
was great for us because we learned how
to work on the aircraft. Only a handful of females
went on graveyard shift, swing shift, day shift. Never worked day shift hardly
at all, all off shifts. When we did get
ourselves together, I told her I’m leaving. I worked in cabin. She worked on the engines. I had a choice. I could stay there
longer, but everybody said it’s time for me to go. Let the young people take over. I left 2004. I’ve been retired since 2014. Well, anyway, I left 2004. AUDIENCE: From United? JOHNNY: Yeah, from United. I stayed at home
about three years, and I went and worked
at FedEx nine years. So I didn’t want to sit at home. I just kept going. But I want you to know United
is a very good company. You got good benefits. You don’t have to start
out up to the top. You start out at the bottom and
work yourself up like we did. I get retired,
all good benefits. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. JOHNNY: Unlimited. Until I leave here. My family. My grandkids own my passes now. So it’s a good
company to work for, and you have to start
somewhere, but you have to start low to
build yourself up. So I’m saying that to you guys. Keep the faith. Continue what you’re doing. Finish you’re high school. Finish college. And you don’t have to
complete college all the way. You can go to a company
that has good recommendation and to build yourself up. So I say that to say this. Keep the faith. Keep going. Don’t stop. It might look hard out there. It was hard for
me, but I made it. If I can make it,
you can make it. I’m 71 years old. So I did good. Any questions? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. JOHNNY: I started out with
key punching, $650 a month. I went up $18l75, a storekeeper. First I started at $11.75,
and then went up to $18. Then when I got to be a
mechanic, I made $25 an hour, then we went up to $35,
then I went to $37 an hour. When I retired, I was
making $35 an hour. So it pays off, and I
had my A license only, but if you get your
P, you get extra. So if you work towards that
goal, just think about it. Any more questions? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. JOHNNY: Can you drive a big rig? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. PAM WALLACE: I don’t
know about that. I don’t think so. That’s only– A&P license is
for aircraft mechanic only. I don’t think– only that. Any more questions? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. JOHNNY: Oh, yes. Many times. I was in a travel club. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. JOHNNY: Where have I? I’ve been to Japan, Korea,
London, Paris, Italy, so many places,
all over the World. Traveled LA I used to go to
San Diego every weekend just to take care of my daughter. That’s how good United was. I used to pay $4 round
trip to go to LA. That’s probably before you
was born, $4 round trip. Hawaii. I’ve been everywhere
to be honest. So if you want to
get an airline, you can travel all over the
world and enjoy yourself. And do it while you’re young. Do it while you can walk. Do it while you can walk. Don’t wait and say I’m
going to retire to do it– while you’re traveling. Get your vacation. Get it together. Save your money and go. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. JOHNNY: Yes. It’s hard, but you can make it. You’ll make it. PAM WALLACE: So we just
heard through the careers as aircraft mechanics. You can make $70,000
$80,000 a year. Now we’re going to hear
from some of the pilots from the Bay Area, Black
Pilots Association. I’ll let you guys
introduce yourselves. MATTHEW GRAVES: Good morning. Oh, I have a big voice, so
I don’t need this thing. Sorry we’re a; little bit late. I misunderstood. I bought a flight simulator
for you to fly and all that, and it’s out back,
but I guess we’re not going to be able to do that. So maybe next time. My name is Matthew Graves. I’m with Oakland Youth
First, Scotland Youth and Family Center. And what we do is we do
career exploration that lets you understand
what kind of careers are out there that
you haven’t looked at. We have what we
call a land, air, and sea program to introduce
you to the kind of careers that are in the Bay Area
that you didn’t think about. So in our land program, we
do digital arts and media. Downtown we have a recording
studio, internet TV station, and we teach all
of the type things in land program that deal
with entrepreneurship. We do solar renewable energy. We build robots. We have our water
testing and safety. I’m in uniform, because
our second program is we have a maritime program. We have maritime training. We have two ships at Jack
London Square two 32-foot cabin cruisers, and we let
you get out on the Bay and pilot around the Bay. And we pray while you
pilot around the bay. But it’s to give
you an idea of what it’s like to be on the water. And our maritime
training, we work also with the Seafarers Union. The Seafarers Union
has the contracts to put people on cargo ships. You’ve seen those big ships
coming in out of Jack London? Well, we get people trained
to be on those ships. We work to get you trained as
an able-bodied seamen or fire brigade is what we go up to. And those kind of jobs, they
don’t pay a lot of money. They only started
to $70,000 a year, and you only work eight
months out the year. Let me say it again. You start as $70,000
a year, and you work eight months
out of the year, and the training is
only six months long. And you only have
to be 16 years old, and you don’t even have
to finish high school, but I’m not going to
tell you that part. You have to finish
high school, and you get to go around the world. We get a lot of
calls for what we call the pineapple run, which
is from here to Hawaii and back. And you basically do
a month on, month off, those kind of things. With the fire
brigade [INAUDIBLE] you can go up to
over $100,000 a year within two to three
years of working. One of our students went out
and he got the first paycheck and he was so excited. So he faxed us a
copy of his paycheck. His first paycheck was $12,500. Pocket change. But anyway, so
those are the kind of careers that are available
in the maritime industry. We’ll get you what they call
a TWIC card, Transportation Worker’s Card so that you
get cleared through Homeland Security and TSA. You’ve got to get a
passport, and you’ve got to get a merchant
seaman card, which means you’ve got to have a
little bit of body strength because you’ve got to be
able to drag one of you out in case there’s a
fire, opening metal doors, those type of things like that. The third program we have
is our aviation program. In our aviation program,
we look at– because we have an Acorn Town Center, which
is in West Oakland off of 10th and Adeline, that area. We have 25 flight simulators. We have an air
traffic control room. An air traffic
controller’s job, s you just have to have
a high school diploma. Now they want you to have a
couple years of college, maybe, or two years worth
of work experience to know that you’re mature
enough to pay attention. We do the training to make sure
that you can pass the test. The air traffic controller’s job
is $65,000 the $70,000 a year to start, and you don’t have
to have college, like I said, and you can only work 15 years. But they will not
take you after age 35. Now, let me tell
you the sad part. You can only work
15 years, and you’ll get full retirement
and full pay benefits for the rest of your life. Because it is a stressful job. So we have an air traffic
control simulator. In our facility, we
monitored 9,000 planes flying in the air at any given moment. We can show you
every flight going that’s going in
and out of the Bay Area, all those kind of things
to introduce you those careers. In the aviation careers,
we can take you all the way off the ground
school certification. We work with the Bay Area
Black Pilots Association so that you could get that
ground school license, then you could
work toward getting your regular private
pilot’s license. Once you get that,
commercial airline. There are 5– ready? 500,000 pilot positions that
are opening over the next four years. Let me say that again because I
may not have gotten that right. Five? How many? AUDIENCE: 500,000. MATTHEW GRAVES: Not 5,000,
500,000 because of the timing plus an increase in traffic. A lot of the pilots were
old school like I am. I’m not admitting that. But they were former
Vietnam pilots, others. They’re aging out. They’re getting old. So there’s a big gap
that’s starting to come. Most of the pilots
used to be military, but now we don’t have
as many wars going on so you can get it through
regular commercial flying. I started in the industry. I was listening to her. I was the flight attendant
for Pan Am Airlines. I was in college at George
Washington University and they came and said
fly around the world and paying me too. I said I’ll be right back. But you had to speak a
language, so I paid attention when I was in school. I went to public school
in Washington, DC, and language was mandatory. So I took French from 3rd grade
to 12th grade and in college, and I really couldn’t stand it. And then when I was
walking down Paris down the left bank eat
my bread and grapes, I had to apologize to
all my French teachers for all the bad
things I ever said to them while I was in Paris. Because that’s
how I got the job. I spoke French. [FRENCH] [GERMAN] [NON-ENGLISH] Oh, no. So I did the training in Pan Am. They sent me to Hawaii for
six weeks in the CIA building. Anyway, 118 exams later,
I went to London, England. That’s where I was based
first, and I flew off to Europe, Germany, you
name it, and to India. Then from there I transferred
here to California and to San Francisco. Flew out to San Francisco
and went to the Orient. When I first started,
our pay was $747 a month. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. MATTHEW GRAVES: I ain’t going
to tell you what year that was, but we started. But you only worked– our full time was
65 hours a month. Let me say that to you again. We work 65 hours a month. That’s air time. That’s not counting
the time you work. But generally, I work about
two weeks out the month. In between time, I taught
music and marching band at Burlingame High School
and several other things I did in the time. But there are a lot
of opportunities in aviation and maritime. The maritime program also, I
forgot train you ferry boat. You all have seen
ferry boats around? We’ll train to for work on ferry
boats, all the way up from here to Seattle and all the
other kinds of ships. I sail a lot real fast. Any questions? Yes, sir. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. MATTHEW GRAVES: How much
free time do I have now? Well, I’m running the agency
now, so I’m not flying now. So we have pilots
in BAPA that work with United and other airlines. And generally, pilots are
on a 75-hour schedules just like flight
attendants were. So you have time way
home, and I loved it. Back then, we had long layovers. So I used to lay over in
Japan, and this side I went to the Philippines
and other places. Yes, sir. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. MATTHEW GRAVES: That’s
the merchant seaman. Merchant seaman. That’s where we put
you on the cargo ships. So you start off around
$70,000, and average, they go to $100,000,
$110,000 a year. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. MATTHEW GRAVES: Oh, yeah. Generally, within two
three years, you get that. But you’re starting is $70,000. That’s not counting
all the overtime. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. MATTHEW GRAVES: Eight
months out the year. That’s all you working. So you’re on a
month, off a month. Yes, ma’am. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. MATTHEW GRAVES: Breathing. You got to be in good health,
but it depends on which one. Air traffic controllers,
you have to speak English. You’ve got to pass a
literacy test where you are at least 10th grade
because you have to be able to read a lot of things. You have to be at tenth
grade level in English and math to be air
traffic control, at least. That’s what our program is there
for is to help you get ready and get up to those levels. Yes. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. MATTHEW GRAVES:
Oakland Youth First. We have some flyers
and brochures. Oakland Youth First. Our website is
www.oaklandyouthfirst.org, if you put that on the address. If you Google us,
Oakland Youth First, you’re going to
see two web sites. One says youth first development
center, that’s still us. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. MATTHEW GRAVES: Yes, especially
if you let it get out of hand. Yes, sir. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. MATTHEW GRAVES: Say that again. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. MATTHEW GRAVES: Well
a couple of times. Well, we have what they
call clear air turbulence. Clear air turbulence, the
reason why a plane flies is there has to be air
going across the wings and under the wing
to cause lift. There are spaces in the
air where there is no air. And I’ve been in the plane
where you’re flying like this and you can drop 100 feet
inside of two or three seconds and your head is on the ceiling. Have you ever noticed on
the airplane, those of you who have flown, they say
when you’re in your seat, make sure you have your
seat belt fastened? That’s why. The plane could drop, and if
your seat belt is not fastened, that’s the people who get hurt. And I’ve had lightning
hit the plane while I was just
gazing out the window and watched lightning
hit the wing, but we have a lightning rod on
the back, so it hit the wing and went right out the tail. And I said, OK, that
was enough for me, and I went back into
what I was doing. Any more questions? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. MATTHEW GRAVES: I worked on the
727, the 707, and the 747 SP. Those are old planes now. Yes, ma’am. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. MATTHEW GRAVES: We
focus on what we call opportunity youth, 14 to 24. That is our focus
level, 14 to 24. But what we do is
we do K through 12. We do workshops
where if you have a group of people, 15 to 20
students of young people, I don’t care what age. I teach four and
five-year-olds how to fly, the basics of flight because
we have flight simulators we’re going to put you on. At that point, we’ll
do a five-hour workshop where you come in and you
get the opportunity to fly. If y’all want to
sign up for that, you could come into, play
with the flight simulators. We’ll give you an overview,
and we’ll see how you like it. And we also have the
same kind of workshop where one day we’ll
take you out on a and and let you travel
around the estuary. We cruise over to
the USS Hornet, those kind of things to let
you see how the airways are. We do the same thing
with the solar. We have little solar
robots, six in one robots. You build that. You look at wind energy
and renewable energy. So we have three different
kinds of workshops, and we take into the
recording studio, let you do chroma screen
and those other type of technologies and DJing and
all that kind of fun stuff. So we are a wrap-around
service that introduce you to those kind of career. Questions. Anybody else? So we passed out a few flyers. We have some business cards. Again, it’s Oakland Youth First. Scotland Youth and Family
Center is our corporate name. We’ve been around since 1966. We were formerly
at DeFremery Park. Now, our main site is at 1145
10th Street, right off the 10th and Chestnut, which is
a block off of Adeline. We have a site downtown
across the street from the skating rink on
17th Street between San Pablo and Telegraph on the
backside of the skate rink. And that’s where our
recording studio is and where we do our
maritime simulators. And then we have two
ships at Jack London, and we have an
airplane at Hayward. Yes. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. MATTHEW GRAVES: So it’s
an exciting time, ladies and gentlemen. We encourage you
to stay in school. Our program is science,
technology, engineering, math. We want you to stay in
school and look at careers, but we also know that everybody
is not going to go to college. Everybody don’t want to. So what we did was try to find
careers that will stimulate you and that you could
do without having to go to college and
within six months or less, sometimes a year, you could
have the kind of careers where you can make money. And it is for male,
female, all nationalities. Now, to do the maritime,
you have to be cleared. You have to be able to get
a passport and a work visa. You’ve got to have a US,
either passport or US visa that says you live here and you’re
able to do that in some of the maritime industries. The air traffic controller
job, no, they don’t care. For example, this TWIC
card cost about $186. We work at getting
grants and scholarships to help you get one, but
you need all those things to get started. SPEAKER 2: [INAUDIBLE] MATTHEW GRAVES: One of the
things you are programmed focuses on is life
skills and job readiness. That’s the core of our program. We get you ready
for the industry. All the skills that
we’ve talked about, even if you don’t do those
skills in our program, we’ll give you those
transferable skills. When you get on a boat,
we work in three teams. We call it a zero sum game. A zero sum game
means if you don’t do your job, we all going to
suffer, and we all could die. So therefore, everybody
has their responsibilities. We have three teams. I’m the captain I only
talk to three people. Those are the
three team leaders. The team leaders, you all handle
the issues and the problems and what has to be done. So we had three
set crews, and you learn to work together,
work as a team and have that responsibility. Those are the same
kind of skill sets they’re looking for when
you apply for a job. Any other questions? Well, thank you for your time. PAM WALLACE: Thank you. Very informative. And actually, we
appreciate your willingness to set up the simulator. And Shawn, who runs the
gateway program here, is willing to have you
do that if you’re still willing to do that. So we’ll stop our recording
thing for the Peralta TV, and we appreciate
your coming out. Very informative. I had no idea that you could
make that kind of money in these jobs. So I’m sure our students
are very much enlightened, and we appreciate your coming. And we will take
you up on the offer. We’d love to see the
flight simulator. MATTHEW GRAVES:
By the way, we’re going to be back here with
the flight simulator setup this Sunday in the Student Union
Building from 10:00 to 6:00. It’s called Afro Lit and
Technology and the rest. So we will be here
in the Student Union, set up all day with the
flight simulators and more information. And you’ll get to
fly and die, I mean, get to fly and do all
those fun kind of things. PAM WALLACE: Very nice. SPEAKER 2: [INAUDIBLE]. It’s real-time flying. I want to put that in there. It’s real-time flying. It’s not a video game. So you’re actually–
it’s real time. Just take your time,
and it will show you how to do all the maneuvers. Take off, land, turn. It’s interesting. MATTHEW GRAVES: We have a
pilot, co-pilot simulator at this site where two
people sit together, one will take off. And you actually take off from
Oakland Airport in a simulator, fly to the Golden Gate Bridge,
turn around and come back. I teach a few people how to
land on the Golden Gate Bridge, not that you will
do that for real. But I could do that
without thinking about it, but we teach all those
kind of fun things. And while the Blue
Angels were here, our flight simulator
has the Blue Angel F-16, and you get to play with
that too, if you like. PAM WALLACE: All right. Stick around. Thank you. Thank you so much.

Author: Kevin Mason

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